What Should Be on a Rental Application That Helps Screen for Good Tenants?

Screening questions on rental applications typically require about five years of address and work history. Applications usually collect contact information for the applicants and next-of-kin not living with the applicants. Prospective landlords may also want to ask how many people expect to occupy the rental property.

Applications should ask about evictions and any instances in which the applicants purposely refused to pay rent. Fair questions also include "yes" and "no" responses regarding personal habits such as smoking and alcohol use, as these may help identify possible risks to property.

Applications should authorize the prospective landlord to contact references and perform background checks; a non-refundable fee typically applies. Applications may offer applicants an opportunity to explain any unfavorable reports that the potential landlord may discover.